Today, BusinessPost.ie is reporting on the price of a barrel of crude oil having dropped below $30 for first time in more than 12 years, with fears it could plummet to $20.
There are many factors making life unpleasant for the beleaguered sector, including a glut of oil, alternative technologies, climate change, a fall off in demand for fossil fuels and political tensions in Russia and Iran.
Almost a year ago, head of commodities at Citigroup, Ed Morse, warned of the domesday scenario and was largely ignored. Now his prophecy is being taken very seriously.
Aside from implications for the global economy, the ramifications for the industry are potentially catastrophic, particularly for US outfits that operate on debt-to-earnings ratios.
Two major Irish outlets have already become casualties of the crisis – Fastnet Oil and Gas and Petroceltic. Meanwhile, exploration company Tullow Oil could become a takeover target if the situation lingers.
The Sunday Business Post has been covering the fall in oil prices which is good news for consumers, but it points out that the market strife behind it certainly isn’t!